People

PLATO’s Board of Directors provides fiduciary, governing, and policy-making oversight for the organization.

The mission of PLATO’s Academic Advisory Board is to contribute to developing and sustaining PLATO’s educational programs.

The Student Advisory Council is made up of high school students interested in assuming leadership roles at PLATO. The Council is working to improve access to philosophical education.
If you are interested in joining the Student Advisory Council, please send your name, high school and grade, and a brief description of your interest to Student Advisory Council Chair Charles de Belloy at charlesdebelloy@gmail.com

PLATO Committees Image
PLATO Committee Image B
Executive Commitee

The Executive Committee, composed of PLATO’s officers, acts on behalf of the Board between regularly scheduled Board meetings, during emergencies, or when it is not practical or feasible for the Board to meet. 

Allison Cohen, President

Roberta Israeloff, Vice-President

Kyle Robertson, Secretary

Aaron Yarmel, Treasurer

Ariel Sykes, Chair of Academic Advisory Board

Staff: Jana Mohr Lone

Conference Committee

The Conference Committee is responsible for planning, organizing, and evaluating PLATO’s Biennial Conference, as well as identifying opportunities for PLATO members to present or attend other organizations’ conferences related to the work of PLATO. The committee includes both board and community members.

Allison Cohen, Chair

Sian Charles-Harris

Roberta Israeloff

David Shapiro

Jane Shay

Ariel Sykes

Staff: Cassie Finley

Development Committee

The Development Committee assists in fundraising, marketing, outreach, communication, and related development matters, including the development planning process. The committee includes both board and community members.

Debi Talukdar, Chair

Jim Gillen

Corey Horn

Polly Hunter

Roberta Israeloff

Kelly Laas

Carmen Maria Marcous

Stephen Miller

Meera Patel

Robert Patrick

Molly Purrington

Kyle Robertson

Staff: Jana Mohr Lone

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee is composed of board members who assist PLATO in monitoring the integrity of PLATO’s financial reporting process and systems of fiscal controls regarding finance, accounting, and audit, and in ensuring compliance with legal and ethical standards. 

Aaron Yarmel, Chair

Allison Cohen

Staff: Jana Mohr Lone

Governance Committee

The Governance Committee is composed of board members with responsibility for the nomination process for new directors; overseeing board accountability, self-evaluations, and satisfaction; strategic planning; and periodically reviewing and assisting PLATO in developing and updating organizational policies.

Roberta Israeloff, Chair

Allison Cohen

Bob Gordon

Kelly Laas

Deborah Mower

Kyle Robertson

Staff: Jana Mohr Lone

Media Committee

The Media Committee is responsible for enhancing PLATO’s media profile; identifying media resources and PLATO media representatives; and cultivating a media-aware organizational culture. The committee includes both board and community members.

Laurie Grady, Chair

Alex Chen

Sian Charles-Harris

Dan Fouts

Roberta Israeloff

Max Jacobs

Jill Lawrence

Carmen Maria Marcous

Christiane Wisehart

Staff: Cassie Finley

Program Committee

The Program Committee is responsible for identifying new program opportunities in accordance with PLATO’s mission and vision; helping to oversee program development; and assisting with planning and organization for PLATO’s national, regional, and local programs. The committee includes both board and community members.

Kenneth Clatterbaugh, Chair

Mary Drayer

Sara Goering

Laurie Grady

Jean Hanson

Judith Howard

Terrance McKittrick

Colin Pierce

Lena Quijano

David Shapiro

Jane Shay

JC Wright

Staff: Debi Talukdar

Research Committee

The Research Committee is responsible for developing and gathering resources that strengthen, promote, and support research on philosophy for young people and other public philosophy programs, especially programs administered by PLATO and PLATO Partner Organizations; collaborating with other PLATO committees to connect research priorities with existing efforts; and connecting with outside organizations, especially across disciplines, to bolster research on philosophy for young people and other public philosophy programs. The committee includes both board and community members.

Michael Vazquez, Chair

Robert Boatright

Paul Bodin

Alex Chang

Gayatri Kaimal

Erik Kenyon

Stephen Miller

Deborah Mower

Laura Soter

Sarah Vitale

Staff: Cassie Finley

P4 Journal Editorial Board

The P4 editorial board is responsible for all aspects of the publication of PLATO’s journal P4. The editorial board includes both board and community members.

Kristopher Phillips, Editor in Chief

Karen Emmerman, Associate Editor

Kelly Laas, Managing Editor

Roberta Israeloff, Editorial Advisor

Michael D. Burroughs, Founding Editor

Questions Journal Editorial Board

The Questions editorial board is responsible for all aspects of the publication of PLATO’s journal Questions. The editorial board includes both board and community members.

Stone Addington and Ariel Sykes, Editors-in-Chief

Alexandra Chang

Mitch Conway

Christine Eskander

David Heise

Corey Horn

Amy Leask

Jana Mohr Lone

Janice Moskalik

Stephen Miller

Wendy Turgeon

Christiane Wisehart

Jana Mohr Lone
Executive Director
Allison Cohen
President
Charles de Belloy
Chair
Roberta Israeloff
Vice-President
Karen S. Emmerman
Education Director
Debi Talukdar
Program Director
Cassie Finley
Communications Director
Kyle Robertson
Secretary
Jean Sung
Administrative Coordinator
Seoyoung Ann
Kate Goldyn
Outreach Coordinator
Aaron Yarmel
Treasurer
Mark Burenko
Ariel Sykes
Academic Advisory Board Chair
Sian Charles-Harris
Board Member
Chloe Chun
Kate Given
Graphic Design
James Gillen
Board Member
Bob Gordon
Board Member
Alex Chang
Mitchell Conway
Laurie Grady
Board Member
Leo Cunningham
Kelly Laas
Board Member
Marisa Diaz-Waian
Melissa Diamond
Deborah S. Mower
Board Member
Dan Fouts
Claire Katz
Stephen Miller
Board Member
Bridget Flynn
Erik Kenyon
Meera Patel
Board Member
Colin Pierce
David Shapiro
Board Member
David Gibson
Christiane Wisehart
Board Member
John Torrey
Zoë Henry
Wendy Turgeon
George Jabren
Michael Vazquez
Gayathri Kaimal
Wendy Way
Dustin Webster
Liam Lobl
Kate Given
Richa Shukla
Edith Strianese
Henry Zhu
Nava Rezaiamiri
Stephen Miller
Advisor

Jana Mohr Lone is the co-founder of PLATO and for many years was the director of the University of Washington Center for Philosophy for Children, before its 2022 merger with PLATO. She is Affiliate Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Washington, and the author of the books Seen and Not Heard (2021) and The Philosophical Child (2012); co-author of the textbook Philosophy in Education: Questioning and Dialogue in Schools (2016); co-editor of Philosophy and Education: Introducing Philosophy to Young People (2012); and author of many articles about young people’s philosophical thinking. Jana has been leading philosophy sessions with students from preschool to graduate school for 25 years. She has a Ph.D. in philosophy and a J.D. She lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington.
https://phil.washington.edu/people/jana-mohr-lone

Allison Cohen is an Advanced Placement U.S. Government and Philosophy teacher at Langley High School in McLean, VA. She is dedicated to bringing quality philosophy curricula to high schools across the nation and expanding opportunities for students to engage in philosophical questioning and reasoning. Allison has presented papers at several national conferences on topics such as: critical thinking, argument diagramming, affirmative action, and genetic enhancement. She is an adjunct professor at American University where she teaches Essentials of Effective Instruction for the Department of Education. Allison also serves on the Boards of Directors for Street Law, a national nonprofit committed to preserving and enhancing civics education in our schools, and the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum. 
Allison's resume

 

 

Charlie is a Franco-American student at the Lycée Français de San Francisco. He is interested in philosophy and ethics, notably Nietsche. 

Roberta Israeloff has directed the Squire Family Foundation since its inception in 2007. The Foundation advocates for the inclusion of philosophy in elementary and secondary schools, and co-founded both PLATO and the National High School Ethics Bowl. She co-edited Philosophy and Education: Introducing Philosophy to Young People, and is on the editorial board of Precollege Philosophy and Public Practice. In her thirty-five-year writing career, she has published numerous essays, short stories, book reviews, and books including, mostly recently, The Ethics Bowl Way: Answering Questions, Questioning Answers, and Creating Ethical Communities, co-edited with Karen Mizell.
Roberta's resume

 

Karen S. Emmerman started teaching philosophy classes at John Muir Elementary in Seattle in 2010 and has worked as their Philosopher-in-Residence since 2013. She has taught a high school philosophy class and has facilitated teacher trainings in pre-college philosophy for many years. Karen teaches a course in philosophy for children at the University of Washington and mentors graduate and undergraduate students. She was the Education Director of the University of Washington Center for Philosophy for Children before it merged with PLATO in 2022. Karen is part-time faculty in the philosophy department at the University of Washington and writes in ecofeminism, animal ethics, and philosophy for children as well as serving as associate editor of the journal Precollege Philosophy and Public Practice. karensemmerman.com

Debi Talukdar has been facilitating K-12 philosophy classes since 2014 and was the Philosopher-in-Residence at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, Seattle, from 2018-2021. She also facilitates educator workshops and organizes a monthly seminar for individuals interested in philosophy with young people. She was previously Program Director at the University of Washington Center for Philosophy for Children before it merged with PLATO in 2022. Debi is a former instructor at the University of Washington College of Education and former ensemble member at Theater for Change UW. She currently lives in Oakland, CA. https://www.linkedin.com/in/debi-talukdar-35412345/   

Cassie Finley is a PhD candidate in philosophy at the University of Iowa. She is the director of the Iowa Lyceum, a free precollege philosophy summer program run by University of Iowa graduate students. She has published on the Iowa Lyceum and graduate student education, and has current projects in public and precollege philosophy in the works. She also developed (with Jen Foster, USC) the free public philosophy workshop series, “Cogtweeto.” Her research interests include virtue education, metaphilosophy, social epistemology, ancient Greek philosophy, and philosophy of technology.

Kyle Robertson is a Continuing Lecturer in the UC Santa Cruz philosophy and legal studies departments and the Managing Director of the Center for Public Philosophy at UC Santa Cruz, which he helped found in 2015. He founded and directs the Northern California High School Ethics Bowl program, teaches as part of Mount Tamalpais College at San Quentin State Prison, and regularly speaks and publishes on public philosophy.

Jean has provided administrative and executive support to several mission-driven organizations. Most recently, she led a tutoring nonprofit in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. She is passionate about empowering youth through holistic education, is a volunteer Girl Scout leader, and serves on the board of an international school in Liberia. Jean lives with her family in Frisco, Texas. She hopes to instill a zest for lifelong learning and philosophical habits of mind in her two young children.

Seoyoung is a student at Saint Paul Preparatory Seoul in South Korea. Her interests lie in the fields of biology, political science, and mainly philosophy. At school, she can be found leading the TedTalk club, playing basketball, or engaging in existentialist and philosophical discussions with her friends.

Kate Goldyn was for many years the outreach coordinator for the University of Washington Department of Philosophy and for the former UW Center for Philosophy for Children before its merger with PLATO in 2022. She enjoys sharing with others the importance of philosophy and how relevant it is to everything we do. She makes sure to take time to wonder with her three children and ask why questions

Aaron Yarmel is the Associate Director of the Center for Ethics and Human Values at The Ohio State University, where his research interests include philosophy for children, social change, and two-level utilitarianism. In addition to overseeing all CEHV programs, Aaron leads its efforts on dialogue facilitation and skill building, outreach, and the ETHOS Fellows program. He is also the Founding Director of Philosophy Counseling and Consulting, an organization that offers philosophical counseling. He has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Outside his academic work, Aaron has been an animal rights activist and a vegan since 2011. 
LinkedIn profile

 

Mark Burenko is a student at Northgate High School in Walnut Creek, California. He runs his school's philosophy club and he has previously helped prepare the Ukrainian philosophy olympiad team. Mark is especially interested in existentialist thought and literature. He is also a competitive ballroom dancer and in his spare time he enjoys reading literary criticism and learning new languages.

Ariel Sykes is the Assistant Director of the Ethics Institute at Kent Place School. She has worked in the philosophy for children community for over ten years and specializes in dialogic teaching strategies, argumentation, and ethics instruction. She received her B.A from Mount Holyoke College and her M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University in the field of Philosophy and Education. Ariel is the co-founder of the New York City High School Ethics Bowl and an endorsed practitioner of the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children.

Sian Charles-Harris is a postdoctoral researcher with the Gladstein Family Human Rights Institute at the University of Connecticut. Sian’s research considers the role of philosophy in preparing teachers for the ethical, political, and social demands of the profession. As a former middle and high school humanities teacher, Sian is particularly interested in how philosophical inquiry, when applied to literature instruction, might help young people develop deeper understandings of history, the present, themselves, and others. When she's not teaching or thinking about teaching, Sian enjoys practicing yoga and experimenting with spicy recipes from her favorite cooking shows. Her values of mindfulness, empathy, and curiosity inform her work as a philosopher and educator, and she is passionate about PLATO’s mission to increase opportunities for historically excluded young people to practice philosophical inquiry. 
LinkedIn Profile

 

Chloe is a student at Xavier College Preparatory in Arizona. She enjoys reading and studying Kantian literature and postmodernism. Outside of philosophy, she enjoys practicing Korean calligraphy and industrial design.

Kate Given is a senior at the Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana, California. She began her work with PLATO in 2022 as the Social Media Intern and is also a member of the Student Advisory Council. Kate was named a finalist in the 2023 American Philosophy Open and has worked with Southern California school districts to create and implement a hands-on, arts-based philosophy curriculum in local elementary school classrooms. She has been published in PLATO’s journal, Questions: Philosophy for Young People, and hopes to continue her pursuit of philosophical writing at the collegiate level.

Jim Gillen serves as the Chief Development and Marketing Officer for The Mission Continues, a national nonprofit dedicated to empowering veteran leaders to engage with under-resourced communities. Before this, Jim spearheaded marketing and communications efforts at United Way Suncoast and founded Slate Media, focusing on strategic messaging for Fortune 100 clients. He holds an MBA from the University of South Florida, with graduate certificates in nonprofit leadership from Harvard and Boston University. As a board member at PLATO, Jim is committed to advancing the organization goal of incorporating philosophy into educational curricula nationwide, fostering a generation of thoughtful, ethical leaders.

Bob Gordon has years of experience dealing with legal and financial matters as a tax and corporate lawyer. While majoring in philosophy as an undergraduate, he developed a boundless intellectual curiosity and a passion for critical thinking that was essential to his success initially in educational publishing and then in law. In his spare time, he is engaged with several nonprofit, charitable, and community organizations and reads obsessively.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/rmgordon

Alexandra Chang is a middle school English teacher in Michigan. Previously, she taught for four years in Boston Public Schools. Alex studied philosophy and education at Carleton College, where she first began teaching philosophy in local schools. As a teacher, Alex continues to develop philosophy lesson plans for middle school students, as well as consider the intersection between philosophy, social-emotional learning, and restorative practices. Most recently, Alex has collaborated with A2Ethics in Ann Arbor to develop a workshop for local teachers interested in expanding the use of philosophy in their core classes.

Mitchell Conway is a Facilitator at Cottonwood Agile Learning Center, a Community Philosopher at Merlin CCC, and a Philosophy Instructor at Carroll College. He is a student of philosophy, a theater maker, and a teacher who cares ardently about empowering young learners; his work often interweaves education, story, and inquiry. He has a Masters degree in Philosophy & Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and he trained at the Institute for the Advanced of Philosophy for Children. In addition to serving on the Academic Advisory Committee for PLATO, he is also on the Editorial Board for the journal Questions.  

Laurie Grady has been teaching for over 20 years in the Philadelphia area and has been teaching at Haverford Senior High School in Havertown, PA since 2004. Some of the courses she teaches are Advanced Placement Language and Composition, English Language Arts, and electives such as Shakespeare, Creative Writing, and Literature & Philosophy. She is committed to the inclusion of critical and philosophical thinking and communication in all her courses. Laurie has served in leadership roles for both students and colleagues, most recently as a sponsor for her school's nationally winning HI-Q team and as chairperson on the Faculty Advisory Committee. She is passionate about communicating the potential of philosophical inquiry to other teachers and dedicated to exploring practical ways to expand P4C to more schools and homes. 
LinkedIn profile

 

Leo Cunningham (he/him) is a rising junior at Concord Academy in Concord, Massachusetts. He is co-head of this school's debate club, which recently competed in its first Ethics Bowl competition. In addition to philosophy and history, Leo enjoys computer programming and is interested in exploring ethical aspects of AI and technology.

Kelly Laas is the Librarian of the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions at the Illinois Institute of Technology. She works on developing resources and strategies to help integrate ethics into university-level courses and research projects in engineering and the sciences. She is also currently the Upper Midwest Regional Representative for the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl and has worked extensively with colleagues from the Chicago area to help organize the Chicago High School Ethics Bowl. Kelly is also the managing editor of PLATO's journal Precollege Philosophy and Public Practice (P4).
https://ethics.iit.edu/about/kelly-laas

 

 

Marisa Diaz-Waian chairs the PLATO Education Committee. She is the founder and director of Merlin CCC – a public philosophy non-profit in Helena, MT. A community philosopher and generalist by nature, training, and practice, Marisa happily hangs her hat at Merlin Nature Preserve where she lives and serves as its trustee and steward. She has a special interest in ethics, ancient philosophy, existentialism, humor, and “fuzzy” topics at the intersection of philosophy and psychology. Her work focuses on philosophy in the community, frequently with an interdisciplinary, environmental, and intergenerational bent.  

Melissa Diamond is a Ph.D. student in the University of Washington College of Education’s Social and Cultural Foundations program. She graduated from UW with a B.A. in philosophy and a B.S. in computer science in 2020 and earned an M.Ed. in Social and Cultural Foundations in 2023, also from UW. Her research is in the philosophy of education, with a focus on the ethics of education in the context of the global climate crisis. She also served as a Graduate Fellow with PLATO from 2021-2023. In her free time, Melissa loves to cook and bake, backpack, and dabble in various arts and crafts projects.

Deborah S. Mower, founding Director of The Center for Practical Ethics, is the Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Hume Bryant Professor of Ethics, and an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Mississippi. She is on the Board of Directors for the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, and was a former President of the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum. Specializing in moral psychology, applied ethics and public policy, and moral education, she co-edited Civility in Politics and Education (with Wade Robison, 2012) and Developing Moral Sensitivity (with Wade Robison and Phyllis Vandenberg,  2015). With a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, she co-directed a Summer Institute on Moral Psychology and Education (2016). https://www.deborahmower.com

 

Dan Fouts has been high school social studies teacher since 1993 in the Chicagoland area, teaching US history, AP government, American studies and, most recently, a philosophy elective which he designed in 2011. Outside of the classroom, he has presented extensively at the state and national level on inquiry-based instruction techniques, in addition to working with PLATO and the American Philosophical Association to bring philosophy into K-12 classrooms in the United States. He is a co-founder of Teach Different, a professional development organization which helps teachers and students master the art and science of classroom conversations using a simple protocol which combines quotes, claims, counterclaims and essential questions.

Claire Katz is Professor and Interim Department Head of Teaching, Learning, and Culture at Texas A&M University. She was named a Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence and a Piper Professor in the state of Texas. She conducts research and teaches courses at the intersection of philosophy, education, gender, and Jewish studies. She recently published Growing Up with Philosophy Camp: How Learning to Think Develops Friendship, Community, and a Sense of Self (R&L, 2020) and Philosophy Camps for Youth (R&L 2021). She founded/directs P4C Texas and the Aggie School of Athens Philosophy Summer Camp for Teens.

Stephen Kekoa Miller, Humanities Department chair at Oakwood Friends School and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Marist College, has taught philosophy for the past 20 years in Poughkeepsie NY. Stephen has developed a wide range of courses from middle school philosophy through upper-level college courses, and a philosophy series for parents and community members.  Stephen’s research interests lately have included pre-college philosophy, philosophy of education, virtue ethics and philosophy of emotion.  Stephen is also the Chair of the APA's Committee on Precollege Instruction in Philosophy.  Stephen served on the Teachers Advisory Council of the National Humanities Center. He is the editor of Intentional Disruptions (Vernon, 2021). 
Stephen’s Resume

Bridget Flynn is a sophomore at Narragansett High School in Rhode Island. She is the captain of her school's Ethics Bowl team and has pursued philosophy courses at her local university. Outside of philosophy, she is passionate about the arts—including writing, dance, and music—along with travel and politics. 

Erik Kenyon, a classicist with a specialty in ancient philosophical dialogue, is author of Augustine and the Dialogue (Cambridge University Press, 2018) and co-author of Ethics for the Very Young (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019). He taught for eight years at Rollins College. Since 2020, he has taught middle-school Latin and Humanities at Friends Academy, Dartmouth, MA, where he is helping integrate ethical reasoning into the curriculum. Erik serves on the board of the National Middle School Ethics Bowl. He is currently translating a collection of Greek and Latin philosophical texts for young readers.

Meera Patel is a Senior Director of Global Omnichannel Advanced Analytics at Kellanova, where she leads transformative initiatives leveraging AI in sales and marketing. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, she has played pivotal roles at companies such as Kellanova, Pepsi, and Unilever. Furthermore, she has also founded a tech start-up and co-developed an Omnichannel executive leadership program at Cornell Tech. 

Colin Pierce has been an educator for 14 years and is a passionate advocate for equity in education and elevating youth voice and agency in the matters most important to them. He taught at Rainier Beach High School in south Seattle for eight years and coached teams in the Washington State Ethics Bowl for seven. Born in Oakland, California, he received his Bachelor's degree from Sarah Lawrence College and his Master of Arts in Teaching from Lewis & Clark College. He currently works for the City of Seattle's Department of Education and Early Learning and serves on the Washington State Leadership Board, among other volunteer activities. 

David Shapiro is a faculty member at Cascadia College, where he teaches college philosophy classes that draw heavily upon his experiences and lesson plans for doing philosophy with pre-college students. He has been doing philosophy with young people in and around the Seattle area since he was a graduate student at the University of Washington way back in the 20th century. David is the author and/or co-author of six books, including Plato Was Wrong! Footnotes on Doing Philosophy with Young People, a compendium of activities, exercises, and games he has developed for exploring philosophical questions in the classroom and beyond.

David Gibson is a homeschooled high school junior. He is the captain of his ethics bowl team, has taken university courses on political philosophy and ethics, and is currently developing a series of workshops to bring political philosophy to local area students.

Christiane Wisehart is a communications specialist at Herron School of Art + Design. Her content strategy initiatives foreground accessibility and engagement. She values education, growth, and community-building with a focus on social justice.

John Torrey is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and a contributing professor in the Africana Studies unit at SUNY Buffalo State. He holds a BA in Philosophy and Spanish from Morehouse College (2009) and an MA and Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Memphis (2019). His primary research interests are in the intersection of political philosophy, applied ethics, and African-American philosophy, specifically with regards to calls for Black reparations in America. Additionally, he has interests in philosophy of education and pre-college philosophy. He also has developed precollege philosophy programs since 2010, Philosophical Horizons at the University of Memphis and the Buffalo State Lyceum.

Zoë (she/they) is a senior at Oakwood Friends School in Poughkeepsie, NY. She’s always been interested in both gender studies and philosophy, and has taken a variety of philosophy/ethics classes throughout all four years of highschool to cultivate the latter interest. In addition to philosophy and gender studies, Zoë is passionate about the humanities in general.

 

Specializing in philosophy for children and the history of philosophy, Wendy C. Turgeon is presently the chair of the Department of Philosophy at St. Joseph’s College, where she has been teaching courses since 1991. One of the leading proponents of the freshman honors program, Dr. Turgeon coordinates the program in addition to teaching one of its core courses. She has also incorporated global education into many of the philosophy classes at the College and is a passionate advocate for study abroad. Dr. Turgeon was also instrumental in creating the College’s minor in women’s studies.

George Jabren is a junior at the Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the president of his school’s philosophy club and a member of his schools policy debate team. George also started his school’s philosophy reading club, and is founding an Ethics Bowl team this year.  He particularly enjoys reading postmodern theories: notably, those relating to international relations for their applications in policy debate as well. Additionally, George is a flutist, playing in local wind ensembles. 

Michael Vazquez is Teaching Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Director of Outreach at the Parr Center for Ethics. He is also a lecturer on the Social Foundations of Education for Penn’s Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2020. Michael specializes in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. He also draws actively on his community engagement efforts to conduct research in philosophy of education and to develop innovative practices for the teaching and learning of philosophy.

Gayathri Kaimal (she/her) is a senior at Wilton High School in Wilton, Connecticut. Her passion for Ancient Greek and Latin, along with her love for debate, led her to philosophy. She is particularly fascinated by Ancient ethics and logic, and their connection to the modern day. Through her work at PLATO, Gayathri hopes to expand access to pre-college philosophy.

Wendy Way is a social studies teacher at Bethpage High School, a public school on Long Island. She has taught world history at BHS for 27 years and has taught a philosophy elective for the last 20 years. Wendy is also the advisor for the philosophy club and is the coach for her school’s ethics bowl team. She enjoys attending the bi-annual PLATO conferences and is always looking for ways to expand the philosophy curriculum and find engaging ways to introduce philosophical concepts to students.

Dustin Webster is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania where he serves as the Co-Director for Penn’s Project for Philosophy for the Young. In addition to philosophy for children and pre-college philosophy, Dustin's research interests include normative evaluations of using education for social mobility, the relationship of education to work, character and virtue education, and educational ethics. He has a professional background in K-12 education with experience in a variety of contexts, including most recently as a 5th grade teacher. Dustin received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education where he studied the philosophy of education.

Liam Lobl is a student at Ardsley High School in New York. He competes in Lincoln-Douglas debate, in which he enjoys reading Deleuzian literature. Outside of debate, he is interested in various philosophies of emotion and environmental ethics, especially as related to outer space policy.

Kate Given is a senior at the Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana, California. She loves film, theater, and art history, and is most passionate about the work of aestheticians and epistemologists from Ancient Greece and Enlightenment-era Europe. She also loves to travel and spends her free time enjoying museums and plays around the world.

Richa Shukla is a senior at University High School in Normal, Illinois. She has been interested in philosophy from a young age, and she joined PLATO Student Advisory Council to introduce more philosophy education in her community. Richa hopes to make philosophy accessible for many, because it encourages many to think critically about the world around them.

Edie Strianese is a rising junior at Oakwood Friends School in NY. They became interested in philosophy through ethics classes and have participated in Ethics Bowl the past two years. They also enjoy discussions surrounding history and politics.

Henry is a student at BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour. His main areas of interest include meta-ethics, normative ethics, critical theory, and studies of ideologies. Henry also loves to play ultimate frisbee.

Nava is a sophomore at Atlanta International School. Her interest in philosophy has grown out of her passion for equity and social justice. She has taken several classes on philosophy, and she hopes to make similar opportunities accessible to other students through the PLATO Student Advisory Council.

Stephen Kekoa Miller, Humanities Department chair at Oakwood Friends School and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Marist College, has taught philosophy for the past 20 years in Poughkeepsie NY. Stephen has developed a wide range of courses from middle school philosophy through upper-level college courses, and a philosophy series for parents and community members.  Stephen’s research interests lately have included pre-college philosophy, philosophy of education, virtue ethics and philosophy of emotion.  Stephen is also the Chair of the APA's Committee on Precollege Instruction in Philosophy.  Stephen served on the Teachers Advisory Council of the National Humanities Center. He is the editor of Intentional Disruptions (Vernon, 2021). 
Stephen’s Resume